My story: Clare

I was 56 years old and had been head of marketing at a well-respected company for several years. I had done well climbing the career ladder and thought I would now be able to reap the rewards of my hard work. But one day I was called in by HR and told that I was at risk of being made redundant. The company went through a redundancy process with me and I had consultation meetings, but I got the sense the decision was already made.

Advertised my job!

I started to look for another job and found out that my company was advertising for a new head of marketing. I was shocked because they’d told me they couldn’t afford a head of marketing any more. The person specification said that my employer wanted “a dynamic, energetic and entrepreneurial” person in the job. This sounded to me like a coded advert for someone younger than me. I was extremely upset to discover my own job was being advertised, at the same time they confirmed that I was definitely being made redundant.

Claim for unfair dismissal and age discrimination

I brought a claim in the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal and age discrimination. I knew I fitted all the job criteria except that I was not younger, which is what I thought the company meant by their job advert. I had been doing the job well for years. The company said in its defence that I just wasn’t the right fit for the job.

I won my claims. The tribunal decided there was no genuine redundancy situation and there had been age discrimination. I was pleased that I won, but I would rather have just kept my job. Going to tribunal was very stressful and upsetting at times.